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/Vacatures/Post doc Brain-on-chip (CSC)

Post doc Brain-on-chip (CSC)

Research & development - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Develop and study neural circuits with single cell resolution on CMOS MEA chips

Post doc Brain-on-chip: building neural circuits with single cell resolution on high-density MEA chips (CSC2021-041)

Project description

Please note that this project is in the framework of Chinese Scholarship Counsel (CSC)-IMEC-KU Leuven Scholarships. Please read the requirements before applying here.

Neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease cannot be studied in situ in a living patient, and the much-studied transgenic animal models have not demonstrated to deliver on their promise of bringing a cure. For many of these diseases, there is no or only symptomatic treatment available. Radically novel approaches are needed to shed new light on mechanisms and pathways behind these complex disorders. We are building neural microcircuits on high-density CMOS microelectrode array chips1 that represent the affected brain circuit, by using the patient’s own (skin) cells. By single-cell electroporation using the chip’s electrodes, we introduce molecules to drive differentiation towards neuronal sub-types. The same electrodes are used to record electrophysiological (e-Phys) data from the neural circuit, thereby mapping novel phenotypes of disease. Additional assays are being developed with complementing cell types, such as astrocytes and microglia. The microcircuit model will be further developed and improved by moving from 2D to 3D cell assemblies. Finally, the e-Phys data will be complemented with transcriptome data and linked to the clinical background of the patient to improve the phenotype and stratify the patient population. The successful candidate will be actively involved in the creation and readout of the microcircuits, will be handling stem cell cultures, perform electroporation experiments, electrophysiology recording and data analysis. The candidate will be working in a multidisciplinary team. The project is part of Mission Lucidity2, a unique constellation of engineers, neuroscientists, and clinicians, with the aim to decode brain disease. Previous experience with microelectrode arrays or electrophysiology is strongly advised.

1Miccoli et al., Front. Neurosci., 2019


Promotor: Liesbet Lagae (KU Leuven)

Daily advisor: Dennis Lambrechts (imec)

Manager: Dries Braeken (imec)

Required background: Electrical engineering, biomedical engineering

Type of work: 10% literature, 70% experimental, 20% data analysis

Please note that this project is in the framework of Chinese Scholarship Counsel (CSC)-IMEC-KU Leuven Scholarships. Please read the requirements before applying here.

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